9 ways to make more engaging surveys

Let’s be honest: traditional ways of creating a survey are boring and time-consuming. And besides, no one likes to sit through and fill out a dull survey unless you’re Sheldon Cooper from the sitcom, the Big Bang Theory.


The purpose of a survey is to gather authentic data from respondents, and an unengaging survey increases the chances of killing the very purpose.

This article lists 9 powerful strategies that breathe life into your surveys and make them engaging, enjoyable experiences that yield valuable insights into your audience.

How to make surveys more engaging?

To make your surveys more engaging, you’ll have to ditch the dull, formulaic approach and implement some strategic tweaks.

The following ways to improve surveys, backed by research and concrete examples, will help you turn the tide on survey fatigue and create surveys that truly capture hearts (and data, of course!)

Explain your “Why”

The first step to making compelling surveys is to spark your respondent’s interest by clearly stating the survey’s purpose and how their participation benefits them and the larger community.

Instead of jumping straight into questions, explain:

  • The issue you’re tackling: Are you improving customer service, gauging product interest, or gathering feedback on a new initiative? Be specific.
  • Why their input matters: Explain how their responses will directly impact decisions, improvements, or future products/services.
  • The bigger picture: Connect their participation to a larger goal. Highlight how they contribute to something meaningful.

Let’s say you’re surveying a new product launch. Instead of simply asking questions about features and preferences, start by explaining to respondents that their feedback will directly influence the final product. Emphasize how their opinions matter and how their input can shape the outcome.

For instance, “We’re launching a new line of skincare products and want to ensure they meet your needs. Your feedback will help us create products that address your skincare concerns and preferences.”

Personalize your surveys

Ditch the one-size-fits-all approach and tailor your survey to individual respondents.

You can use existing data (if ethical) to address respondents directly by their names. It’s a simple gesture that creates an immediate connection.

If you know their past choices or demographics, tailor questions accordingly. For instance, asking a coffee lover about tea preferences wouldn’t be relevant.

Use branching logic to show questions only relevant to their previous answers. It will eliminate irrelevant sections and keep them engaged and focused.

If a survey targeting gym members asks generic questions like, “How satisfied are you with our equipment?” question, fewer people are expected to complete it than one with personalized questions, such as: “Hi John, as a weightlifter, how well do our free weights meet your needs?”

The targeted approach shows you value their unique experience, and it drastically boosts survey engagement and response quality.

Ask questions that pique audience interest

Gone are the days of dry, monotonous questions that send respondents snoozing.

People are tired of answering the generic “Rate your satisfaction on a scale of 1-5.” kind of questions. They want fun surveys that feel interesting and informative.

To truly pique your audience’s interest, you need to inject intrigue, spark curiosity, and make them eager to share their thoughts.

Try asking engaging open-ended questions, such as “What surprised you most about our product?” or “If you could design an ideal feature for our app, what would it be?”

These prompts encourage reflection and provide valuable insights beyond simple numerical ratings.

Don’t just ask for opinions, ask for insights, for example, “If you could design our app from scratch, what would you change?” It empowers them to become co-creators and increases their investment in the survey.

Make your survey a fun conversation

No one enjoys rigid, formal language that feels more like an interrogation than a chat.

Make engaging surveys where you speak directly to your audience and introduce fun ways to encourage survey participation.

You may toss in a lighthearted joke or anecdote to break the ice. But remember to keep it appropriate for your audience and avoid anything offensive.

One way to make interesting surveys is to play with creative answer options. In a simple employee engagement survey question, “How satisfied are you working in this company?”, you could give options like “Thrilled!”, “Happy Camper”, or “Meh, could be better.”

Fun doesn’t mean unprofessional. Keep the questions relevant and the tone respectful, but don’t be afraid to loosen up and let your personality shine through.

Add visual aids

Studies show that people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Images, charts, and infographics instantly capture attention and break up text-heavy sections in your surveys, making them less overwhelming and more engaging.

You can use visual aids to present data clearly and concisely and make it easier for respondents to understand complex concepts.

Avoid blurry or pixelated images that detract from the experience. Ensure they align with your topic and target audience.

Explore options like image selection, emoji reactions, or interactive charts to make the experience more engaging and dynamic.

Remember to not overload your survey with visuals. Use them strategically to highlight key points, illustrate questions, or provide context.

Use gamification elements

Gamification taps into people’s natural desire for competition, achievement, and rewards, and makes participation more enjoyable.

People are more likely to pay attention and provide thoughtful answers to engaging surveys. Gamification can lead to richer, more detailed data as respondents are motivated to participate actively.

Show respondents how far they’ve progressed through the survey with visual cues like progress bars or point systems. Engaging surveys motivate them to keep going and reach the finish line.

Award badges for completing milestones or achieving high scores. Display leaderboards to encourage friendly competition and motivate respondents to climb the ranks.

Offer incentives like discount codes, exclusive content, or early access to new features in exchange for completing the survey to sweeten the deal.

Net promoter score survey

Experiment with creative question formats

Who says surveys have to be a monotonous parade of multiple choices and scales? Spice things up with creative question formats that inject engagement and fun into your surveys.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Word clouds: Instead of asking respondents to select a single answer, present them with a word cloud containing various keywords related to the topic. Ask them to choose the words that best represent their thoughts or feelings.
  • Image selection: Add visuals to your survey by asking respondents to select images that resonate with their experiences or preferences.
  • Emoji reactions: Integrate emojis into your survey questions to allow respondents to express their emotions or opinions using visual cues.
  • Ranking tasks: Present respondents with a list of items and ask them to rank them in order of preference or importance.
  • Slider scales: Instead of traditional Likert scales, use interactive sliders with fun icons or visual representations. Imagine being able to choose between a sad panda and a happy unicorn to rate customer satisfaction – much more engaging, isn’t it?

Make a mobile-friendly design

According to research, people using smartphones deliver top-notch survey answers, even in more distracting environments, as long as they’re given question formats that are user-friendly on small touchscreens.

Choose large, easy-to-read fonts like Arial or Verdana. Avoid fancy scripts or anything too small that requires zooming in.

Attention spans are shorter on mobile, so stick to concise, engaging survey questions and avoid lengthy sections. Aim for bite-sized chunks of information.

Make buttons big enough for easy tapping, and ensure ample space between answer choices to avoid accidental selections.

Before launching, test your survey on various mobile devices and screen sizes to identify any usability issues.

Leverage cool survey tools

Creating engaging surveys can be complex, time-consuming, and not exactly a walk in the park. But what if you could move past the technical headaches and channel your inner creative genius with the help of no-code, interactive online survey tools?

Cool survey tools like Formaloo allow you to choose from a wide range of pre-designed themes or create your own that perfectly match your brand identity.

You can add your logo, colors, and fonts for a consistent, recognizable brand experience.

Such platforms also tailor the survey flow based on individual responses to ensure a personalized and relevant experience for everyone.

You get instant insights as responses roll in, track trends, and make informed decisions faster.

Make engaging surveys to get more survey responses!

Your respondents are the key to gathering valuable data, so treat them with respect, creativity, and a touch of fun.

Offer them engaging surveys to gather rich insights, foster positive brand sentiment, and build stronger relationships with your audience.

Formaloo is your one-stop shop for crafting engaging, fun, and data-rich surveys. It is a no-code, drag-and-drop interface platform that lets you build stunning surveys in minutes, even with zero technical expertise.

Sign up for free today to get started.

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9 ways to make more engaging surveys